BA Books & Authors on the Web – July 17, 2015

Cover ArtBeginning Biblical Hebrew, by John Cook and Robert Holmstedt, was reviewed by Jesse Scheumann at Books at a Glance.

“I praise Cook and Holmstedt for producing a methodologically rigorous grammar that does many unique things to make Hebrew come alive for students. Surely, BBH will help the whole field take a step forward in more effectively teaching Hebrew to the next generation.”

Also at Books at a Glance, a helpful summary of G. K. Beale’s Handbook on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament.

Jennifer Guo reviewed Simon Gathercole’s Defending Substitution.

“An excellent introduction to some of the scholarly debate surrounding the atonement and provides a brief and accessible exegetical defense of substitutionary atonement through two Pauline texts. It’s a great book for laity with academic interest in soteriology as well as beginning Bible college or seminary students.”

This Strange and Sacred Scripture by Matthew Schlimm, and The Old Testament and Ethics, edited by Joel Green and Jacqueline Lapsely, were reviewed at Interpreting Scripture.

Lindsay Kennedy, at My Digital Seminary, reviewed J. Richard Middleton’s A New Heaven and a New Earth.

“The label ‘game changer’ should not be thrown around hastily, however I believe A New Heaven and a New Earth has the potential to be this very thing for many Christians today.”

Linguistic Analysis of the Greek New Testament, by Stanley Porter, was reviewed by Conrade Yap at Panorama of a Book Saint.

 

BA Books & Authors on the Web – June 5, 2015

Cover ArtAt RBL, Sylvie Raquel and Pheme Perkins reviewed Stanley Porter’s How We Got the New Testament.

No one will come away from Porter’s treatment of “text, transmission, and translation” without appreciating the extraordinary efforts behind the Scripture we read in church on Sunday.

Erik Raymond, at The Gospel Coalition, reviewed Early Christian Martyr Stories by Bryan Litfin.

In the postBread From Heaven in the Desert” at Jesus Creed, RJS reflected on Walter Moberly’s discussion of manna in Old Testament Theology.

Exodus 16 is a powerful and multidimensional text with a long and powerful interpretative history and many lessons yet for us today. The point isn’t to apply “science” to the story, but to listen and understand.

Everyday Theology, edited by Kevin Vanhoozer, Charles Anderson, and Michael Sleasman, A New Heaven and a New Earth by J. Richard Middleton, and Linguistic Analysis of the Greek New Testament by Stanley Porter, appeared on the “What We’re Reading This Summer” list from the staff of The Gospel Coalition.

A hymn inspired by J. Todd Billings’ Union with Christ, I Stand Forgiven!

Beginning Biblical Hebrew, by John Cook and Robert Holmstedt, was featured at Books at a Glance.

 

BA Books & Authors on the Web – April 3, 2015

Cover ArtAt RBL, Bálint Károly Zabán reviewed John Cook and Robert Holmstedt’s Beginning Biblical Hebrew.

On the whole, the kernel of the book is very well and carefully written but equally impressively designed. With its focus on especially pragmatics, the textbook delves into a subject sometimes avoided by other grammars—a joy to read, a joy to use, and a joy to teach from!

Also at RBL, Darian Lockett reviewed the Paideia commentary on James and Jude, written by John Painter and David A. deSilva.

CHOICEconnect reviewed Early Christianity in Contexts edited by William Tabbernee (here), as well as Handbook of Religion edited by Terry Muck, Harold Netland, and Gerald McDermott (here).

Andy Naselli recommended Rodney Decker’s Reading Koine Greek.

Daniel Block’s For the Glory of God was reviewed at Spoiled Milk.

Engaging the Christian Scriptures, by Andrew E. Arterbury, W. H. Bellinger Jr., and Derek S. Dodson, was reviewed at the Young Restless Reformed Blog.

At Network, Greg Sinclair reflected on religious diversity in light of Our Global Families by Todd Johnson and Cindy Wu.

The Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament series was recommended by The Frederick Faith Debate.

At Euangelion, Michael Bird shared a quote from Peter Oakes’ Galatians commentary.

Nijay Gupta, at Crux Sola, interviewed Mikeal Parsons about his recent Paideia commentary on Luke.

At Comment Magazine, James K. A. Smith shared two work-in-progress excerpts from his forthcoming third volume in the Cultural Liturgies series, Beyond “Creation” and Natural Law and Rethinking the Secular, Redeeming Christendom.

 

BA Books & Authors on the Web – July 18, 2014

Cover ArtThe Institute for Sacred Architecture reviewed The Space Between, by Eric Jacobsen.

“Jacobsen artfully weaves together the linear progression of the story of redemption, which starts in the Garden and ends in the Heavenly City, with our understanding of the urban environment. He states that in our place and time we are not yet in the Heavenly City; however, we can and should work toward it.”

G.K Beale’s A New Testament Biblical Theology, John Cook and Robert Holmstedt’s Beginning Biblical Hebrew, and Rolf Jacobson and Karl Jacobson’s Invitation to the Psalms were reviewed in the Journal for the Evangelical Study of the Old Testament.

Daniel Waldschmidt, at the Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary Blog, reviewed Galatians by Douglas Moo.

At Scriptorium Daily, Matt Jenson recommended the Turning South series; comprised of Nicholas Wolterstorff’s Journey toward Justice, Susan VanZanten’s Reading a Different Story, and Mark Noll’s From Every Tribe and Nation.

Jordon Stone recommended Old Testament Commentary Survey by Tremper Longman, and New Testament Commentary Survey by D.A. Carson, at the Ordinary Ministry blog.

At Daily Theology, Krista Stevens reflected on The Gospel of Mark by Francis Moloney.

David Naugle listed Bonhoeffer the Assassin? by Mark Nation, Anthony Siegrist, and Daniel Umbel, in the Cardus summer reading list.

The Logos Academic Blog interviewed Bryan Chapell, author of Christ-Centered Preaching.

Peter Enns, author of Inspiration and Incarnation, interviewed Christopher Hays, co-editor of Evangelicals and the Challenge of Historical Criticism, as part of his ongoing “Aha” Moments series.

 

Video: Beginning Biblical Hebrew, Additional Resources

Instructor’s Manual and Supplemental Material

The Beginning Biblical Hebrew Forum

Digital Resources for Students and Professors

Cover ArtAbout the Book: This innovative textbook by two leading experts in Biblical Hebrew combines the best of traditional grammars, new insights into Hebrew linguistics, and a creative pedagogical approach. The material has been field tested and refined for more than a decade by the authors, who are actively engaged in teaching Biblical Hebrew and in scholarly discussions and research.

“Because it not only embraces fresh methods but also rethinks their linguistic and pedagogical foundations, this volume will stand out in the crowded market of introductory Biblical Hebrew textbooks. This isn’t a rehash; it’s a reboot. To have these creative ideas assembled into this ambitious synthesis will allow instructors to try out new approaches with relative ease.” – Christopher B. Hays, Fuller Theological Seminary

“Cook and Holmstedt’s beginning Hebrew grammar and illustrated workbook stands as a welcome contribution to teachers of Biblical Hebrew. The text aims at language acquisition rather than grammar retention, and this is a point that makes the volume so useful. Current in its philosophy of language, relevant in its presentation and pedagogy, and thoroughly focused on the ancient Hebrew text, this beginning grammar will serve Biblical Hebrew language learners for years to come.” – Heath A. Thomas, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

For more information on Beginning Biblical Hebrew, click here.
You can find the Beginning Biblical Hebrew blog and forum here.

The Influence of Hebrew on the English Language – an Excerpt from Beginning Biblical Hebrew

The following is an excerpt from Beginning Biblical Hebrew, by John Cook and Robert Holmstedt.

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Hebrew may be considered one of the most historically and religiously significant of the Semitic languages, both because of the size of its textual remains by comparison with the other Semitic languages and the enduring religious nature of the primary text. That is, the Hebrew Bible contains the single largest body of ancient Semitic literature and has remained a core religious text for Judaism and Christianity for over two thousand years. Indeed, the impact of Hebrew on Western culture can scarcely be overstated…

Cover ArtHebrew was especially influential on the English language through the attention to the Hebrew Bible given by the Puritans in England. From 1549 Hebrew was a required language for an MA degree at Cambridge. The poet John Milton (1608–74) read and wrote Hebrew fluently, and he was appointed Secretary for Foreign Languages by Cromwell. The noted legal scholar John Selden (1584–1654) studied biblical and talmudic legal writings in helping to reshape British jurisprudence.

Most important, the rather literal rendering of the Hebrew Bible by the translators of the King James Bible (1611) has made numerous Hebrew idioms and proverbial expressions commonplace in modern English:

“to lick the dust” (Ps. 72:9)
“to fall flat on one’s face” (Num. 22:31)
“heavy heart” (Prov. 25:20)
“to pour out one’s heart” (Lam. 2:19)
“the land of the living” (Job 28:13)
“nothing new under the sun” (Eccles. 1:9)
“sour grapes” (Ezek. 18:2)
“rise and shine” (variant on “arise, shine” in Isa. 60:1)
“pride goes before a fall” (Prov. 16:18)
“the skin of my teeth” (Job 19:20)
“to put words in one’s mouth” (Exod. 4:15)
“like a lamb to the slaughter” (Isa. 53:7)
“a drop in a bucket” (variant on “a drop from a bucket” in Isa. 40:15)
“a fly in the ointment” (from Eccles. 10:1)
“to see the writing on the wall” (from Dan. 5:5)
“a man after his own heart” (1 Sam. 13:14)

©2013 by John A. Cook and Robert D. Holmstedt. Published by Baker Academic. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.

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For more information on Beginning Biblical Hebrew, click here.

Video: Beginning Biblical Hebrew

The Methodology of Beginning Biblical Hebrew

A Flexible Textbook, Tested in the Classroom

Lessons and Format

Cover ArtAbout the Book: This innovative textbook by two leading experts in Biblical Hebrew combines the best of traditional grammars, new insights into Hebrew linguistics, and a creative pedagogical approach. The material has been field tested and refined for more than a decade by the authors, who are actively engaged in teaching Biblical Hebrew and in scholarly discussions and research.

“In recent years, I have tested three different beginning Hebrew grammars in the classroom and have reviewed about a dozen others with that purpose in mind. I am delighted to have found Cook and Holmstedt’s Beginning Biblical Hebrew, which is a mature and delightful alternative. Pedagogically speaking, it is just about perfect. It presents necessary information succinctly without overwhelming beginners. It also entices and immerses students with comicbook-style readings and a graphical presentation of vocabulary. Students begin to read, rather than decode, Hebrew almost from the beginning.” – Daniel Driver, Tyndale University College, Toronto

“I used Beginning Biblical Hebrew in draft form with twenty undergraduates this year, and the textbook succeeded grandly. Having taught Hebrew students for the past thirty years, I can say that this present class is the most advanced I have ever had. They read extremely well, they have a good grasp of the fundamentals, and they have a developing understanding of syntax that will prepare them for subsequent study in Hebrew readings and exegesis. This grammar is characterized by current terminology, new discussions that reflect the best of what current research has to offer, and well-considered exercises and readings. I highly recommend it.” – Martin Abegg Jr., Dead Sea Scrolls Institute, Trinity Western University

For more information on Beginning Biblical Hebrew, click here.

BA Books & Authors on the Web – January 24, 2014

Cover ArtJonathan Pennington, author of Reading the Gospels Wisely, was interviewed by Matthew Montonini at New Testament Perspectives.

James K.A. Smith wrote a response to the recent critique of Imagining the Kingdom published in Books & Culture.

Byron Borger of Hearts & Minds Books included Imagining the Kingdom by James K. A. Smith,  God’s Good World by Jonathan R. Wilson, and Why Study History? by John Fea in his Hearts & Minds Best Books of 2013 – Part One.

Hearts & Minds Best Books of 2013 – Part Two included Journey toward Justice by Nicholas Wolterstorff, Teenagers Matter by Mark Cannister, and Spiritual Formation in Emerging Adulthood by David Setran and Chris Kiesling.

At RBL, Teresa Okure reviewed The Christ of the Miracle Stories by Wendy Cotter.

Jackson Watts, of the Helwys Society Forum, reviewed Christian Philosophy by Craig Bartholomew and Michael Goheen.

John Walker reviewed Thomas Guarino’s Vincent of Lérins and the Development of Christian Doctrine, at Freedom in Orthodoxy.

At Unsettled Christianity, Joel Watts reviewed Lee McDonald’s The Story of Jesus in History and Faith.

John Cook and Robert Holmstedt’s Beginning Biblical Hebrew was reviewed by Brian LePort, at Near Emmaus.

Scott Klingsmith reviewed James Ware’s Paul and the Mission of the Church for the Denver Seminary blog.

Nijay K. Gupta’s post New Testament Scholarship: 50 Books Everyone Should Read (Part 1: Gospels), included Miracles by Craig Keener.

Postliberal Theology and the Church Catholic, edited by John Wright, and Another Reformation by Peter Ochs, were reviewed by Joseph Mangina for The Living Church.

Our monthly newsletter, E-Notes, was released this week.

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eBook Special

Through Thursday, January 30, the eBook of Bonhoeffer the Assassin? by Mark Thiessen Nation, Anthony Siegrist, and Daniel Umbel is available for $3.99 (86% off) at participating retailers, including:

Amazon
Apple
Barnes & Noble
CBD

New Textbook eSources for Beginning Biblical Hebrew

 The following is an excerpt from the Preface to the Instructor’s Manual, a new resource for Beginning Biblical Hebrew by John Cook and Robert Holmstedt. You can find this preface in its entirety, along with sample quizzes, vocabulary cards, the Jonah Reader Beta, and a number of other resources, at this title’s Textbook eSources page.

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Pedagogical Principles behind Beginning Biblical Hebrew

Less English, More Hebrew

To speed students’ progress in acquiring Biblical Hebrew, the use of English has been kept to a minimum. The grammar lessons are discrete and concise, with each lesson containing no more than one new topic. Ideally, discussion of the grammatical concepts should not take center stage in any classroom session. Instead, after a bare minimum of explanation, the concepts should be illustrated and thus acquired by practice through the exercises and the instructor’s extemporaneous variations on the exercises.

Cover ArtImmersion by Visual Text

Since a true language immersion context for an ancient language like Biblical Hebrew cannot be provided, this textbook offers “textual-visual” immersion. The cycle of biblical texts combined with the illustrations is the most effective way for students to acquire the creative productivity necessary to comprehend Biblical Hebrew. The textual-visual nature of this textbook does not, however, mean that its approach to language learning is “text-centered.” Rather, the exercises are meant to be used (and manipulated) in classroom settings so that the eyes, ears, mouth, and whole body are engaged in the language acquisition process. In other words, the textbook merely establishes a trajectory for an effective language learning context. To flesh out the learning environment more fully, the instructor should introduce additional content through the use of objects, video clips, songs, live animals (!), and whatever else proves useful….

Discovery

The illustrated stories, iconic vocabulary, and variety of exercises are intended to encourage a spirit of curiosity and discovery, in contrast to parsing drills and translation exercises, which encourage a view of “language components as puzzle.” In our textbook, the “puzzle” that excites the student should be how the text is comprehended. Thus, this textbook does not focus on the “nuts and bolts” of Biblical Hebrew but provides just enough nuts and bolts to enable students to understand the language of the texts. The desire to understand the “language of the text” is, after all, why students study Biblical Hebrew.

Repetition

Repetition is the key for embedding any language within the learner’s language faculty, but this repetition must also be carefully planned, such as highlighting recently learned skills by simple substitutions. Also, the repetition must occur across cycles: a recently learned skill may be briefly left behind and then picked up and reinforced with minimal new information a few lessons later. The exercises in the lessons and the readings are designed with this principle in mind. For classroom drills, the instructor can introduce minor variations in the textbook exercises to create additional repetition exercises, focusing especially on topics that prove diffcult for students to master.

New Release: Beginning Biblical Hebrew, by Cook and Holmstedt

Cover ArtThis innovative textbook by two leading experts in Biblical Hebrew combines the best of traditional grammars, new insights into Hebrew linguistics, and a creative pedagogical approach. The material has been field tested and refined for more than a decade by the authors, who are actively engaged in teaching Biblical Hebrew and in scholarly discussions and research.

Beginning Biblical Hebrew offers a realistic approach to learning the language, helping students comprehend texts without overloading them with too much information.

“Because it not only embraces fresh methods but also rethinks their linguistic and pedagogical foundations, this volume will stand out in the crowded market of introductory Biblical Hebrew textbooks. This isn’t a rehash; it’s a reboot. To have these creative ideas assembled into this ambitious synthesis will allow instructors to try out new approaches with relative ease.” – Christopher B. Hays, Fuller Theological Seminary

“Each year sees the publication of several new Biblical Hebrew grammars. Invariably, their deductive approach requires a motivation-crushing amount of contextless memorization, and only a fraction of students have the heart to continue past the first semester. Cook and Holmstedt’s grammar is a breath of fresh air….If you want your students to learn Biblical Hebrew in a deep and substantial way, and help them enjoy the process as well, then this grammar is exactly what you are looking for.” – Charles Halton, Houston Baptist University

“For languages, childlike learning is best. As young children, people talked to us, and we quickly acquired our new language with no formal grammar. Preeminent Semitic linguists and proven teachers Cook and Holmstedt have brought us the verified successes of childlike learning and second-language acquisition strategies. The student will acquire Biblical Hebrew through sight, sound, storytelling, and playacting. Formal grammar during these early stages of learning is as it should be–minimal….[A]n uncluttered, learner-friendly path to joyfully understanding Biblical Hebrew.” – Gary A. Long, Bethel University

John A. CookJohn A. Cook (PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison) is associate professor of Old Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. He has taught undergraduate and graduate courses at the University of Wisconsin (Madison and Milwaukee campuses), Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Wheaton College, and Grace College.

Robert D. HolmstedtRobert D. Holmstedt (PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison) is associate professor of Near and Middle Eastern civilizations at the University of Toronto in Toronto, Ontario. His primary research interest is the linguistic study of Northwest Semitic languages.

For more information on Beginning Biblical Hebrew, click here.